David Gilman is a partner at Blacks Connect LLP
During the last decade with the advent of bulk conveyancing/remortgaging and the advance in technology the world seems to believe that conveyancing is dealt with by way of ticking a box.
Unfortunately nothing is further from the truth as each individual case requires both legal expertise and social skills. Granted I concede that with bulk remortgaging, typically that provided to lenders who are offering free legals, one can get away with a tick box solution.
Transactional conveyancing where there is a house purchase involved is very different to a remortgage. Each and every client’s sale or purchase has its own individual needs. The skill set of the conveyancer who handles the cases is vital to any transaction. The conveyancer in many instances not only has to be legally qualified to convey, but also on numerous cases has to be a social worker who listens constantly to the needs of his/her clients and to the needs of the introducer. In this day and age sometimes those needs conflict with each other and with that of the conveyancer.
We are asked on numerous occasions by the client/introducer to complete a conveyance within a minimum amount of time. We find we are exchanging contracts and completing matters simultaneously more and more.
We are in essence dealing with 100 miles an hour conveyancing. The true worth of the conveyancer is very rarely taken into account as the client/introducer believes they merit a Rolls Royce service but are only willing to pay a Mini fee. As we all know you usually get what you pay for and cheap doesn’t always equate to quality.
The more worrying aspect in all this is still how many times as a conveyancer we are perfecting title on the property due to mistakes made earlier. The danger for a broker is that the conveyance is usually the ‘glue’ that holds all the elements of the client deal together. The building and contents, the mortgage, the life cover, critical illness cover etc so should there be a problem with the conveyance there is a risk that the whole deal could fall through.
With the housing market as flat as a pancake, no risks should be taken with a poor quality conveyance that could give you client issues during completion and issues when they come to re-sell.
Quality, quality, quality is of paramount importance and people not tick boxes will provide the quality you seek.